No single introductory book has until now captured the range of thought appropriate for scrutinizing the idea of leisure. Beginning with a discussion of expressions in classical thought, etymological definitions and key leisure studies concepts, Blackshaw suggests that the idea abounds with ambivalence, which is unlikely ever to be resolved. After analyzing the rise and fall of modern leisure patterns, the emphasis shifts from the historical to the sociological and the author identifies and critically discusses the key modernist and postmodernist perspectives. Drawing on the idea that leisure studies is a 'language game', Tony Blackshaw subsequently offers his own original theory of liquid leisure which asks some key questions about the present and the future of leisure in people's lives, as well as what implications it has for individuals' abilities to embrace the opportunity for an authentic existence that is both magical and moral. Leisure is an essential purchase for undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and academics in the fields of Sociology of Leisure, Sports and Leisure Studies, and Popular Culture.